House of the Dragon Season 2 Showrunner Confirms Who Was Who In Episode 2’s Bloody Showdown

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for House of the Dragon, Season 2 Episode 2.]

House of the Dragon Season 2, so far, has shown real commitment to making sure every episode ends in some sort of bloody tragedy. In Episode 2, that tragedy comes in the form of a fearsome duel between two brothers, as identical twins Ser Arryk Cargyll (Luke Tittensor) and Ser Erryk Cargyll (Elliott Tittensor) fight over the life of Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) — Arryk having been sent to murder the Queen, and Erryk sworn to defend her.

It’s an intense sequence with huge stakes, one that leaves both brothers dead: The loser slain by his twin, with the “victor” dying by suicide immediately afterwards. But if you’re not totally sure which twin was which, in the end, know that even showrunner Ryan Condal struggled to tell the actors apart sometimes during their time on the show.

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During a roundtable interview with press, Decider‘s Meghan O’Keefe asked Condal directly about the end of Episode 2, and which twin met which fate.

“The way to remember is that Arryk [with an A] goes with Aegon,” Condal said. “And Erryk [with an E] is played by Elliot Tittensor.”

This means that Arryk, who had infiltrated the castle to assassinate the Queen, is officially the one who loses the fight, and it’s Erryk who wins, but then can’t live with his victory over his brother. “That is Erryk at the end, who falls on his sword at the end,” Condal said. “When he says ‘Your Grace’ to the Queen, that’s when she knows who it is, based on his address.”


It’s just another example of how the names on House of the Dragon can sometimes be a little complicated to track, something Condal admits freely. “It was very confusing last season because we had Luke and Elliott Tittensor as the Cargyll twins. And then we also had Elliot [Grihault] who played Luke Valerian. So you’d start saying Elliot and Luke, and ‘Are we talking about the character or the actor or whatever?’”

Condal also noted that the two Tittensors really are just “very hard to tell apart. Elliott has tattoos all over his arms, which is great when they’re not in costume. But the minute they put the costumes on, then you can’t tell them apart.”

Added Condal, “They told us their own mother confuses them, and they’ve tricked their own mother by changing their beards or whatever. Although, at the end, I could do it, and I became very, very proud of it.”


House of the Dragon Season 2 Episode 2

House of the Dragon (HBO)

Condal had plenty of praise for the two men, calling them “amazing actors and performers. They did that entire [fight] themselves. They studied that choreography, they learned it from [stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam]. They did that whole fight on their own. And it’s so incredible and moving.”

It’s another bleak moment in a show packed with them, and Condal said that the tone is “one of the things we’re most conscious of. I think as we get deeper and deeper into the story, and if you’ve read the book, you know that it kind of gets bleaker as we go along. It’s always going to be dark and high stakes, but how do you find those moments of humanity in it? And I think you just really lean on the characters. Because the situation with the war, it doesn’t get better until it ends. That’s just the nature of these things.”

Continues Condal, “But you hook into these characters, who have these very human experiences. There are bad people that grow and become more human as a result of the pressures that they’ve been put through — they’re forced to look inside and reconsider. And then the familiar relationships that we have with these characters, that we know love each other and maybe have been separated by the war and seeing them come back together… I think those are the things we’ll look for, to try to find some light in the darkness of a nuclear war.”


For more, read our conversations with the cast about how Season 2 leans on the metaphor of nuclear war. New episodes of House of the Dragon debut Sundays on HBO and Max.


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